Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from our favorite emerging writers
7/23/2022 0 Comments
What Birds but We Could Put Up With Perfection?, Oh, You Whose Nature It Is to Be Forgotten, I Need A Fresh Bird & Wax and Feathers Were Regrettable, Though Logical/ Metal and Fuel Illogical, Yet Fly, by Jacqueline Hughes Simon
Please accept our apologies for the hiatus! Sometimes life gets in the way.
We're back to grace your scorching weekend with a short collection of poetry from Jacqueline Simon.
Read, share, and enjoy! And remember to stay hydrated.
-The Derailleur Press team
WHAT BIRDS BUT WE COULD PUT UP WITH PERFECTION?
Red-Tailed Hawk, Briones
after William Carlos Williams
No feather falls unsignificantly
—not from the bird off
whom it has come. The
hawk, burnt-sienna overhead, coast
-ing on a current until there
under the treacherous sun was
a thrush, a solitary bird, a
meal. Nothing to warn, no splash
like a crane must heed. Nothing quite
so obvious, just death. Unnoticed
is never true. A feather [this
feather], a reminder of who was
lost. I hope that Icarus
thought of this while drowning
OH, YOU WHOSE NATURE IT IS TO BE FORGOTTEN
Cooper’s Hawk, Berkeley
After W.H. Auden
When I see the baby Coot and
the Cooper’s Hawk nearby, the
act of observing feels expensive.
The Coot’s orange-tipped, delicate
feathers soon to be submerged, ship-
wrecked, wracked. I feel I must
dissuade the hawk. Let her have
me, a lesser bird. I’ve seen
the role of dying. Something
in the real realm of amazing--
a deer hanging nose-down, a
child’s corpse—sweet baby boy.
The cost is in the falling--
the deer bleeding out,
the infant buried too soon—of
forgetting the memory & the
logic of needing birds in the sky.
I NEED A FRESH BIRD
Cedar Waxwing Berkeley
after Rg Gregory
Perhaps a Cedar Waxwing would distract, so
I could make its plumage my grandeur? Though I
am useless at infamy, I too might have fled
to the sun. I own no deftness at bird-ness. I
have a longing for wax and going where he flew.
I’ve no training in soaring. All I know is—out.
Bird destinations are solemn acts, and the
current they follow has no boundary, no gate,
only blind adherence to movement. I’m up
for this feathering necessity. Preference being the
downy pink-gray of Cedar Waxwing. On this street,
on that wire, they pass a berry from beak to beak till
one eats. Who doesn’t need bird compassion? Am I
like them, a tiny dinosaur? Or am I like he who melted
aping a bird? Had you thought that punishment just?
Ask the birds whose abilities he coveted, like
web or talon. A cheap, gaudy mock-up that
fooled no one, least of all the Sun. He was daft.
As I am, for thinking I’m better than Icarus.
And the belief that my feathers are becoming. Before
I melt, I will ask if they might pass that berry to me.
WAX AND FEATHERS WERE REGRETTABLE, THOUGH LOGICAL / METAL AND
FUEL ARE ILLOGICAL, YET FLY
After William Carlos Williams
I believe you had no sea-bright visions. The
goal was molten magnificence, whol (e)-
-ly convinced in waxwing logic, & pageantry
upon your success. We know your notions of
deification. But did you know how wetly the
journey would end? That year after year
Daedalus would recite how his son was
guilty of being quenched? Were you awake
before your plunge? Did you experience tingling?
Or perhaps a gentle fluttering near
your genitals? Of what use your flight and the
moment of death, except to waver on the edge
of sea-fire, a slippery notion of
death, a too-late prescience. Soon the
sweltering world will join you. The sea-
wombs have placed a curse. No longer concerned
with gods or humans, but stricken with
a curative necessity. Its only concern, itself.
Jacqueline Hughes Simon’s writing has appeared in the The Cortland Review, Okay Donkey, Boaat Journal, Pennsylvania English, Pine Hills Review and the anthology Processing Crisis (Risk Press). She was nominated for Best of the Net by Okay Donkey in 2020.
Jacqueline received her Master of Fine Arts in poetry from Saint Mary’s College of California, and is a member of the Community of Writers. She is a volunteer and board member of an environmental education nonprofit, where she works with and trains donkeys.
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